US to sell $2bn in weapons to Taiwan, heightening tensions with China

Victoria Gagliardo-Silver

The US State Department has approved a potential $2bn arms sale to Taiwan, and the Chinese government claims the US is interfering with security interests.

The US government is preparing to sell 108 Abrams tanks, 250 Stinger missiles, and related equipment to the state, which officially remains under Chinese control.

Chinese foreign ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said the sale “grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs and undermines China’s sovereignty and security interests.’’

Mr Shuang also claimed the sale violates the “One China Policy”, where the United States acknowledged that Taiwan is part of China, and that the US only has formal ties with China and not its territories.

The potential weapons sale comes as tensions rise on trade between America and China.

The US disagrees with that position, the Pentagon’s Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) claimed that the sale wouldn’t change regional military dynamics.

The DSCA has alerted Congress to the deal, and Congress has 30 days to object to the sale, the BBC reports. No objections are expected.

The office of Taiwan’s President said they have “sincere gratitude” to the US for the sale. The US is currently the main arms supplier to Taiwan.

A presidential spokesman for Taiwan spoke to Reuters and said that Taiwan would “continue to deepen security ties with the US”.